Is there any other solution to anesthesia for filing teeth?

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New Member
Jun 29, 2017
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Hello everyone,

I'm new here and I need your help.

I have an 11 year old bunny who lately has started grinding his teeth and smelling a little bad from his mouth.

We took him to the vet yesterday and he informed us that the front teeth are growing with a misalignment and one tooth from behind has a small spike that causes the grinding and the smell.
He informed us that the solution would be to file his teeth, but to do it he would have to go under anesthetize. He says the rabbit is healthy, but that there is always a risk that he will not wake up because of his age.

For now we are giving him antibiotic every 12h and anti-inflammatory once a day.

Has anyone gone through this procedure in a old bunny? What should I do? Is there another solution other than anesthesia?

Once the teeth are bad enough to cause smells/grinding, you really need anesthesia to file them down. This is a fairly common problem in rabbits, especially as they get older. Have you done any blood work on him recently?

Anesthesia is generally safe (and very short for these teeth filing procedures assuming the vet is experienced). If it were my rabbit, I would get blood work to make sure everything looks good, and then anesthetize for teeth filing. But that's a personal choice (better to die under anesthesia, than to live in pain to me).

How is he doing today?
I had a bunny that got his teeth filed down at the age of 8. He did fine. He was choking on certain foods and on cecotropes and it was super scary so I decided I would rather he die peacefully under anaesthesia than during a choking fit. He was good for about 8 months after the dental procedure and then he died of choking anyway. So I guess just weigh your options carefully, and know that the teeth will not get better on their own. Good luck!
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One thing to keep in mind (I forgot to say) is that this is most likely something you will have to get done again on a regular basis if you go that route- his teeth unfortunately won't come back into alignment anymore. I currently have a young rabbit (4) who has hers done every couple months since she's genetically a nightmare and her teeth have literally never aligned properly. She does quite well with it.
Thank you everyone for your kind responses.

I have never been so scared and sad at the same time. I know that one day he will die, but I don't that the cause of him dying to be me for putting him under anesthesia. I do know that would probably be the only option he has for not suffering, but I see him fine. He his eating his food, he asks for fruit, veggies and some healthy cookies. He asks a lot to be pet and to sleep with me, but I also notice that he his grinding his teeth sometimes. I'm so scared of the procedure, we all are. The vet sounded positive that he is in good health but he said he had to let me know about the risks.

He had this procedure maybe 6 years ago and we never had to do it again. So maybe he will be lucky and not have to do it again, I hope. I will ask the vet about the blood work as he never did it and 2 years ago he had some head problem that I had to feed his food with syringe, good thing he got better after a few months but might be best to check the blood.
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I'm in same boat right now my rabbits eating fine but refusing to drink over last few days so having to syringe it water to ensure it's getting it, its stopped weeing and pooing frequently as a result. And hes over weight I've had him to vets today theyve said his front teeth over hang his bottom ones a little but uncertain wether it's a problem or not his molars bac teeth are looking bad too said maybe to get him put under and filed but I'd rather know if it does die under I'll know it wouldn't of felt anything rather then depriving itself of water as result of dental problems :( mine is 7 I've also seen one google that rabbit bottom teeth are meant to sit behind the top ones aslong as there not hanging out there mouth ? But my vet said it doesnt look right and maybe out of line stressful times

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